Jack Cline, University of Kansas director of Federal Relations.

A group of U.S. delegates are currently traveling to Belfast, Northern Ireland, to search for business relationships with representatives in Northern Ireland.

Among the academic delegates traveling to the conference is Jack Cline, University of Kansas director of Federal Relations.

“I look forward to the opportunity to discuss KU’s economic development efforts with a broader audience and to discuss new potential partnerships that can benefit our university and the region,” Cline said in a KU news release.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s special representative for global partnership, Andrew O’Brien, is heading the academic delegation for the conference.

The conference begins today and runs through Friday. The first two days of the conference focus on “economic climate and investment opportunities,” according to the release. The delegates will travel to Londonderry Thursday to study the economic landscape of the area.

Joe Monaco, director of strategic communications at the University, said Kline was chosen not only to represent the University but to represent the Midwest as well. Cline is affiliated with the Association of American Universities and the chairman of the National Science Coalition.

“Cline is looking forward to the opportunity to discuss things KU is doing in economic development,” Monaco said. “He is eager to search for new partnerships.”

Cline is also in charge of the University's business incubator called The Catalyst, which takes place on West Campus. According to the Bioscience and Technology Business Center’s website, the incubator allows for University business students to have actual business ventures in a professional environment with professional people. Monaco said tenant companies affiliated with the incubator are from Ireland, making Cline’s presence on this trip even more valuable.

“Anytime someone like Jack goes overseas representing KU it’s a great opportunity for the University to make global partnerships,” Monaco said.

 — Edited by Samantha Harms